Can we really pray for “anything”?
What about prayers for things like…hobbies, a significant other, a good grade on a test…. ? Are those prayers that God frowns upon, gets irritated with, or considers a waste of His very valuable time… as He’s also listening to the prayers around the world for those far more tragic and pressing needs?
Well…here’s what happened to me 15 years ago….
My husband is a multi-talented person. I don’t say that with exaggeration, or to simply compliment him. Here’s a list of his skills and abilities….a firefighter, emergency medical technician…
….fisherman of anything from shark in the ocean to trout by fly…even tying his own flies for fly-fishing….
….He’s a carpenter who could make literally anything you wanted him to make, construction man who could repair sheetrock…install toilets/tubs/tile…you name it around the house….
…He loves landscaping and gardening, knows all about plants, raised Bonsai trees, and makes water features like outdoor streams and ponds with waterfalls for us and friends/family….
…He made Monte Blanc-style pens from antler and rare woods on his lathe….
…. He was a bicyclist who rode from San Antonio, Texas to Corpus Christi, Texas for charity (that’s about 200 miles)….
….He sailed sailboats, windsurfed, could repair all sewing machines (for his mother’s quilt shop)…and therefore can also sew (and made custom cushions for our sailboats, and hemmed his own pants for work)….
….He cooks excellent food. He hunts wild game, and is a waterfowl taxidermist whose work has been featured in Field and Stream Magazine….
…More recently, he built our log home that we live in (www.OurCottonwoodCreek.com).
In other words…there’s VERY little he can’t do. I just know there’s more…but my brain is fried just remembering all of that.
I was a photographer when I met him. I adored photography, and eventually God automatically brought customers to me, and I was able to get paid for my hobby.
But, over time, I got burned out. Doing photography for money put more pressure on me, and stripped me of my love for the art.
I stepped away from it for a while (for that and other reasons). For months I was hobby-less while my husband was juggling more than he had time for. Over time, I grew depressed over it.
I was taught that Jesus loves me, and that there’s nothing we can’t ask Him for, and that He loves to be asked and included in our every need…
“He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.” Isaiah 30:19
“The Lord says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.” Isaiah 65:1
So, I braved it.
I asked Him, if it was “ok”….if wasn’t too petty….to please give me a new hobby. Something I could enjoy and feel fulfillment from. Something as a mental release with my young motherhood days.
Back then, I worked for my mother-in-law’s quilt shop. I was the industrial machine quilter. I had a 14-foot long and 5-foot wide machine housed in my guest bedroom upstairs. I was in a daily habit of quilting all morning, going downstairs to grab lunch, and eating it on the floor in front of the television in the quilt room, and getting right back to work.
The day or two after I asked God for a new hobby, I came downstairs to get lunch. I was about to head right back up the stairs, when the idea went through my head to just stay downstairs to eat, and watch television there. I had never done that…but it made sense.
So I sat down, turned on the tv, and watched the daytime news program that was already on. The host was interviewing a lady who was making soap.
She melted the soap base, put some lavender petals in a mold, stirred some lavender essential oil and purple colorant into the melted soap base…and put it all into the soap mold. Next to the freshly-poured one she had a finished replica. She wrapped it in a ribbon, and said what a great gift it would be.
I was absolutely enthralled!
I went immediately to my computer and researched soap making. Each website I found also had supplies for making candles, as well. I was so excited! I spent the entire rest of the day learning how to make all kinds of soap and candles. I went that day to the hobby shop and bought the supplies I needed to give it all a try.
I immediately had a new passion. The ideas were just flowing out of me. New scents, new ingredients, different shaped bars, various scented candles… it was endless. Even Steve (of course) had to try it. We had so much fun together.
I showed my products to my mother-in-law. She said I could sell them in her shop!
I created tags that said, “Whatever you do, whether or word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17) for the soaps, and “…I AM the Light of the world.” (John 9:5) for the candles.
I started hearing that my products were selling. Even better…I heard that customers were giving them as gifts to co-workers, family members, and others whom they wanted to share Jesus with. I can’t tell you how much that blessed me.
Isn’t that so God? It’s His very Nature to deeply touch and bless our lives. He’s a Giver. The Provider. Nothing brings Him more joy and satisfaction than blessing His creation. I asked for a one little hobby.
In fact, seeing that He knows our futures, and knew I was going to be wanting a new hobby, it’s quite possible (and probable) that the Holy Spirit guided and nudged my prayer to Him for a new hobby, knowing that the show would be on soon, didn’t want me to miss it…and would give Him the credit for another direct answer to prayer: “…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6:8)
….”And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” (Romans 8:26)
What problems are you having?
I want to reassure you that no one cares more about your problems than God does, and He has the full ability to answer you and guide you in the right direction. But notice…He put an idea in my head that was out of my daily routine. Too often we don’t realize the various “unexpected” ways that He’ll answer us, and we might ignore it, or reject it. Be patient. Ask Him to make His path and answer obvious to you, and to help you not miss, ignore, or reject it. Then leave the rest to Him.
There’s not one single prayer you can’t ask Him for. He just reserves the right to say “Yes”, “No…not good for you…”, “No…I have an even better plan in mind for you that you’ll LOVE even more…”, or “Yes….but you’ll need to wait for a bit for just the perfet timing… Trust Me…”